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The Bare basics

In recovering from severe injuries sustained when a Black Hawk Helicopter that he was in crashed in Afghanistan in 2010, Gary Wilson had to go back to basics. Bare basics.

“I had to learn how to do everything from the ground up again,” says Gary. “Walking, talking, even being vertical again after being on my back on a bed for so long.”

Ten years on and Gary now runs Bare Coaching, his fitness training business. If anyone’s able to share lessons and guidance on resilience, strength and becoming unstoppable, it’s Gary.

Photo Credit: Gary & Renee Wilson

A new career path

Gary and Renee Wilson started Bare Coaching together this year.

Getting more involved in exercise and understanding how the body works had always been something that Gary enjoyed. When it came time to look for a new career path on leaving the army, he knew he wanted to help people and fitness training stood out.

“It was clearly what he loved,” says Renee. “He found a new passion and a new purpose.”

Renee knows first-hand the power of exercise, from supporting Gary throughout his recovery to serving on the Board of Australian International Military Games, successfully delivering the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

“In order to recover from the accident, Gary had to go back to the bare basics,” says Renee. “From my perspective it’s about controlling what you can when you’re in a circumstance where you can’t control much. You can control the bare basics.”

Photo Credit: Gary & Renee Wilson

Full body workouts and an unstoppable mindset

At Bare Coaching, the focus of physical training is on full body exercise.

“With a full body workout, you burn more calories. You feel more energised overall rather than just having tired arms or a tired chest,” says Gary. “I want to make exercise more enjoyable because it should be enjoyable.”

There’s of course a strong emphasis on getting the basics right – from the foundations of moving patterns and how to squat properly to getting your diet right and the importance of eating whole foods.

Primarily servicing North Canberra, Bare Coaching offers personal training and small group training. There’s also a virtual training option for those with a bit more experience.

Underpinning each of the training options is the mindset that Gary brings to his programs. It’s one of being unstoppable, a way of thinking that he’s uniquely placed to pass on.

Photo Credit: Gary & Renee Wilson

Getting into gear

Gary comes to personal training with a 20 year career in the Australian Army under his belt, having served in Special Operations Command where he undertook three major deployments.

Physical training was a feature of most of his days in the army but Gary wasn’t always as intentional about exercise as he is today.

The hard work it took to pass the gruelling Commando Fitness Assessment on starting with the Special Forces in Sydney sparked something in Gary. He had to get extremely fit if he was going to succeed and, when he knocked it over in his first attempt, it ignited a passion.

Gary well and truly proved any doubters wrong in passing that test and has be doing the same ever since, including overcoming being told that he may never be able to run again.

“Being told that he can’t do something clicks him into gear,” says Renee.

Gary agrees and shares a powerful message with everyone who he works with: “Be fully focused on what you want to achieve and you’ll get there.”


If you’d like to find out more about Bare Coaching, visit